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Dr. Bhim Rai and a patient.
Dr. Bhim Rai and a patient.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit in Bhutan.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit in Bhutan.

Since 2000, HCP has partnered with the Royal Government of Bhutan to develop a comprehensive system of eye care for the nation of over 700,000, supporting the sub-specialty training for eight Bhutanese ophthalmologists and dozens of paramedical staff in addition to providing more than 7,000 sight-restoring eye surgeries and distributing more than 10,000 pairs of reading glasses.

In 2011, Dr. Bhim Rai, Bhutan’s first vitreo-retina specialist, completed a 15-month fellowship at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal, and HCP procured specialized equipment for his new vitreo-retina practice at Bhutan’s National Hospital in Thimpu. As Dr. Rai was preparing to return to Bhutan, he overlapped with two Bhutanese colleagues that HCP sent to Tilganga who arrived for paramedical training in vitreo-retina.

Bhutan — Primary Eye Care Program

Cataract Surgeries 2011 2012
Hospital-Based Surgeries 1,337 958
Outreach Surgeries 472 551
Total Surgeries 1,809 1,509
  Goal for 2015 is 5,000 surgeries.  
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Tilganga’s Deputy Medical Director, Dr. Reeta Gurung, and a team of nine eye care professionals from Tilganga provided 90 cataract and four corneal transplant surgeries in Bhutan in early September 2012. The donated cornea tissue was from the Nepal Eye Bank at Tilganga. Read more.